Did you know . . .
Possum Dreaming by Heather Kennedy
Aboriginal people were using Possum skin cloaks long before the arrival of Europeans in Australia. Possum skin cloaks are established cultural icons for the aboriginal people. Cloaks were used in day-to-day life to keep warm, sleep under, and to carry babies. A possum skin cloak may be compared with present-day patchwork quilts of earlier times, when many possum skins were stitched together to make a wrap.
Possum dreaming was designed by Heather Kennedy, and Heather depicts her dreaming with the skillful use of aboriginal symbolism. She dreams of how the possum travels on the land and water. Heather is from Victoria and is a well-known artist and designer.
Possums are part of the Aboriginal Dreaming. Possums have been used as a source of food and possum skins have been used to make clothing and for a game called Marn Grook. In Marn Grook, a rolled-up possum skin is kicked and caught, in a similar style to Australian Rules Football.
Ringtail possums are one of Australia's most commonly encountered marsupials. Although they are a part of Aboriginal culture, they have now, unfortunately, disappeared from the desert regions of Central Australia.
These nocturnal animals are arboreal (tree-dwelling) and are very active at night when they forage for food, groom, socialize and jump between branches. They have a long, prehensile tail which is used like a fifth limb to carry nesting materials and to grip branches when climbing.
Leaves, especially eucalypts, flowers, nectar and fruit form its primary diet. During the day, the ringtail possum produces faecal pellets, which it then eats. These contain important microorganisms that help the possum digest its food. Yum!
M&S Textiles Australia is the largest manufacturer of Australian Aboriginal designs printed on quilting quality 100% cotton fabric. Aboriginal artworks are popular throughout the world and are the only living ancient artwork. Their tradition goes back thousands of years. It is amazing that many of the artists do not have any formal education or training.
See our huge collection of Aboriginal fabrics.